February 16, 2011

the IM queen

Imagine my surprise as I am diligently working at my computer, or perhaps checking my facebook, to see this message pop up.

Actually I am not surprised at all, it seems every day at about the same time Alex stalks me on facebook. I sure hope the other folks she stalks are understanding. Mostly I think they are; she accepts every friendship request she gets, and then I unfriend a large number of those folks and control her stalking. Call me overly protective, but we have all heard those awful stories of internet abuse.

Alex IMs me all the time while at home too. If I do not respond she calls me from upstairs to ask why. She will text, call repeatedly and IM until I satisfactorily respond. She is resourceful and persistent, two very important attributes for a young adult with disabilities. I find it gratifying.

One might wonder why Alex is even using facebook during school. Her response when I ask is that it is her study hall period. Silly me, I thought that meant it was time to study. I could go into the reasons I think Alex is on the computer during study hall, but that would be making assumptions from past experiences. For now I choose to be impressed with Alex and her ability to use the computer as a communication device. I guess they call that adaptive technology.

Here in the beautiful state of Colorado, the governor has just announced the new budget. He suggests the State cut $332 million from K-12 programs. This translates to a total $3 million in cuts, for our rural school district of 4,500 students.  Tell me this isn't going to hurt our Special Education Department. Well of course it is, I have seen the data, I know the story. This SUCKS!

I am going on record as saying I believe our School District will be responsible about these cuts, and do their darnest to protect all the students in the district...but how the heck do you do that? Special Education, enrichment programs and extracurricular activities always seem to suffer the most blows. How about doing away with tenure and hiring younger teachers who are willing and able to work hard and use creative and inclusive strategies in their classrooms? How about training to support teachers as they take on more and more responsibilities with more and more students? How about less administrators and more committed programs? How about listening to me? Okay, I know I have gone too far, I am not equipped to make recommendations, and have no desire to be in the school district's shoes during these tough times.

Why can't we punish the folks that put us in this recession in the first place, instead of our children, and especially our children that have so many gifts to offer? Maybe next year when they take all the computers away from the schools, Alex will actually study during study hall. IM away my extraordinary daughter, who knows what will happen next year!


  1. Since you live in Colorado, I was wondering about if you knew of any internship/work opportunities for a college student, hopefully with the DS population? I live in Seattle but my whole family (minus parents) live in Englewood/Denver & I really would love to get out there for summertime. I'm deaf although I lipread very well & this is a deterrent towards finding an internship/training/experience at times, but I know there has to be something!

    Any ideas? (My email is jewelbaby22@gmail.com)

    So terrible about the budget cuts.... I agree, those who caused it should be held accountable, not those who it is most easily taken from and who need it the most!

    First time commenter, longtime reader. I love what you write & how you allow us more insight into the life of a teenager, as there are many infant blogs but not teenager. :)

  2. I sure hope that my gal stalks me! I'd love that... Budget cuts everywhere, lots of tragedy going around isn't there? Resourceful and persistent is good!


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